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April 13, 2012

With college hoops done and the NFL frenzy coming to a screeching halt, there has been no real big headline dominating the sports world. There still has been a variety of news and excitement that makes it fun to be a sports fan right now. This includes opening weekend in baseball, the Masters, the crazy NHL playoff race, the NBA regular season coming to a close, and the Nfldraft is right around the corner. I will show you an in-depth look at some of these.

With MLB having by far the longest season out of any of the other sports it is hard to put much stock into one weekend of baseball, yet every year after opening weekend there are already fans hitting the panic buttons on their teams or fans proclaiming that their team will be there in October.

Living in Wisconsin I saw fans every year say that this will be the year for the Brewers after just a mere three games. Until the last few years, those fans were always wrong and left in tears already by July.

The story has been different for the Brewers, who are recently coming off a division championship despite losing Prince Fielder in the offseason. Their division foes, the St. Louis Cardinals, also lost their star in Albert Pujols as he’s now enjoying the California sun playing for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The Brewers still look strong as former MVP Ryan Braun looks as good as ever and the pitching staff is solid, which is so important in this league (just ask the Twins).

Speaking of the Twins, they are off to a slow start and their fans are already hitting the panic button and calling for manager Ron Gardenhire’s head. They have zero pitching and, even though it is real early yet, things could be ugly if you are a Twins fan this year.

The early front-runner in MLB is the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers have bats all the way through the line-up and are lead by Miguel Cabrera and newly acquired Prince Fielder and have the most dominant pitcher in the game with Justin Verlander.

The black eye of opening weekend was Ozzie Guillen and his pro- Fidel Castro remarks. Even with his new team, the Miami Marlins, Guillen, who has been known to run his mouth at inappropriate times, did not know how to control himself when he made these remarks. He has been suspended five games after offending a lot of people, including some of his own players.

This was the first year that I actually sat down and watched golf on TV. I never would have thought golf would be exciting to watch, but the way it is televised going from hole to hole with different announcers and showing the golfers battle it out on the scoreboard and watching beautiful shots as they get out of what looks like an impossible position was magical.

I was intrigued all weekend as Tiger Woods melted down by throwing his clubs; Fred Couples became the story of the weekend for a bit, as everyone pulled for him, and golf legend Phil Mickelson lurked all weekend ready to pounce and take his fourth green jacket.

After it was all said and done, it was Bubba Watson pulling through and taking that beloved green jacket. Watson is a crowd favorite on the course and watching how a golfer can get the crowd so involved was a breath of fresh air and enjoyable to watch.

The game of golf and the Masters itself is filled with tradition like no other sport and, personally, I look forward to watching more golf in the future.

With the NBA playoffs coming just right around the corner, it is the Orlando Magic in the headlines. Unfortunately, they are in the headlines for all the wrong reasons and star Dwight Howard and Coach Stan Van Gundy are in disarray and the Magic are falling fast.

It is unlikely that the Magic will fall all the way out of the playoffs but they will surely be bounced in the first round. A team that was in disarray just a month ago, the New York Knicks, are on a roll. Since former head coach Mike D’Antoni stepped down their star Carmelo Anthony has been rolling and the team is on fire heading into the playoffs. For Timberwolves and Bucks fans, it does not look like either one of your teams will be making it into the postseason.

A quick look at Mel Kiper’s mock draft board shows the Vikings selecting offensive lineman Matt Khali. He will help them improve that offensive line and provide much needed run support for Adrian Peterson and protect Christian Ponder or whomever is their quarterback next year. Kiper has cornerback Stephen Gilmore for the Green Bay Packers who will give a solid role to the secondary as star Charles Woodson is aging and will need a replacement soon.

Ryan Tibbitts is a freshman majoring in journalism. He loves all sports but obsesses over his Packers.